The Tastiest Corn On The Cob Is Grilled With The Husk On

Corn on the cob just might be the best finger food out there. Plump kernels of sweet corn slathered in butter make for a delicious side any time of year, and there's no silverware required.

What's best is that eating corn is an act of individual expression. There are tons of different flavors and eating styles out there to match every individual's personal preference. You can make classic elotes (aka street corn), strip the kernels off and mix them with bacon, or just keep it simple with salt and pepper. Food52 adds that individuals can choose how they approach eating corn on the cob as well. They can work their way across in a classic typewriter style, or go around in circles with the rolling pin technique.

One thing we can all agree on is that shucking the corn is the worst part of it all. Sure, there are tricks to desilking corn, and ways to strip the husk off easily, but wouldn't it be better to skip all the hassle and mess? Thankfully, you can do just that, and it just might make your corn taste better too.

Keep the husk for the best grilled corn

Common knowledge might dictate that you start prepping your corn by taking the husk and silk off, but you'd actually be better off giving your ears of corn a bath. According to HuffPost, one of the best ways to enjoy corn on the cob is to grill it with its husk still on. The only caveat is that the corn will need to soak first. A simple five to 10 minutes is all that's required though. This prevents the husk from burning up on the grill, and adds more moisture as well.

WellPlated points out that keeping the husk on the corn traps moisture and heat inside the same way that foil does. It just requires less prep work. The husk protects the kernels from the direct flames of the grill, and traps steam inside. This keeps the kernels extra juicy while they cook. You'll still have to carefully take off the husks after they've cooled, but the flavor of the corn will be all the better for saving the labor for the end. Much of the silk also burns off in the cooking, making things a little easier.

HuffPost also adds that if you want a char on the kernels, the bare ears of corn spend a short stint on the grill to add more of a smoky flavor. 

What to do with husks and silk

The husk and silk of the corn might seem like an annoyance, but it is essential to growing corn. The Farmer's Life claims that the husks are there to protect the growing seeds of the corn, in the same way they do on the grill. The silks are also used to aid in fertilization. The pollen drops from the top of the corn stalks, where it is caught by the silk. That silk is essentially a tube, and so the pollen travels inside the husk where it fertilizes the corn.

Healthline adds that cornsilk also plays a role in traditional eastern medicine practices as well. It is consumed whole after being cooked, or used to make a tea that is meant to treat a variety of ailments. Food Print says that the husks are also used to make tamales, and serve as wraps for other foods as well. It can even be used to make a complex mousse to accompany any corn dish. In fact, you can use the leftover corn cob as well. They can be used to make everything from corn broth to corn jelly.